Environmental Impact Optimization of Reinforced Concrete Slab Frame Bridges

Majid Solat Yavari, Guangli Du, Costin Pacoste, Raid Karoumi

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The main objective of this research is to integrate environmental impact optimization in the structural design of reinforced concrete slab frame bridges in order to determine the most environmental-friendly design. The case study bridge used in this work was also investigated in a previous paper focusing on the optimization of the investment cost, while the present study focuses on environmental impact optimization and comparing the results of both of these studies. Optimization technique based on the pattern search method was implemented. Moreover, a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology of ReCiPe and two monetary weighting systems were used to convert environmental impacts into monetary costs. The analysis showed that both monetary weighting systems led to the same results. Furthermore, optimization based on environmental impact generated models with thinner construction elements yet of a higher concrete class, while cost optimization by considering extra constructability factors provided thicker sections and easier to construct design. This dissimilarity in the results highlights the importance of combining environmental impact (and its associated environmental cost) and investment cost to find more material-efficient, economical, sustainable and time-effective bridge solutions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017


  • LCA
  • structural optimization
  • slab frame bridge
  • environmental impact
  • pattern search


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